American Biodefense: How Dangerous Ideas about Biological by Frank L. Smith III

By Frank L. Smith III

Biological guns have threatened U.S. nationwide safety given that a minimum of international battle II. traditionally, even if, the U.S. army has missed study, improvement, acquisition, and doctrine for biodefense. Following September eleven and the anthrax letters of 2001, the us begun spending billions of bucks in keeping with yr on scientific countermeasures and organic detection platforms. yet so much of this investment now comes from the dept of well-being and Human companies instead of the dept of safeguard. Why has the U.S. army missed biodefense and allowed civilian corporations to take the lead in protecting the rustic opposed to organic assaults? In American Biodefense, Frank L. Smith III addresses this complicated and principally untold tale approximately technological know-how, expertise, and nationwide security.

Smith argues that organizational frames and stereotypes have triggered either army forget and the increase of civilian biodefense. within the armed providers, influential principles approximately kinetic struggle have undermined protection opposed to organic conflict. The impression of those rules on technological know-how and expertise demanding situations the normal knowledge that nationwide safeguard coverage is pushed by means of threats or bureaucratic pursuits. Given the information at paintings contained in the U.S. army, Smith explains how the teachings realized from biodefense might help remedy different very important difficulties that variety from radiation guns to cyber attacks.

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But while ideas and interests are related, the causal mechanisms involved are still distinct. 62 This distinction is lost in references to organizational essence and institutional personalities. As described by Halperin, for example, it is not clear whether the Air Force’s initial resistance to ballistic missiles was caused by aversion to the idea of having its officers sit in silos rather than fly or, alternatively, because it had to pay for these missiles out of its existing budget (making them an unfunded mandate).

3 But not the United States. 4 The idea that biological weapons were a credible threat therefore gained little if any traction inside the US military until the eve of World War II. It was August 1941 before the special assistant to the secretary of war arranged a meeting about BW and biodefense. This meeting was prompted by requests by Simmons and the Army surgeon general, who wanted to study “all aspects of biological warfare, in order to provide adequate protection of troops against this type of attack,” even though they opposed involvement with offensive development.

Since all of the players want the same resources, generic interests in funding and autonomy cannot explain the difference between winners and losers. This means that these questions cannot be answered by simply citing bureaucratic interests—at least not without also relying on other theories or tautological arguments. The tautological argument is that winners are those who won: an answer as accurate as it is useless. ”54 The same can be said about references to “critical tasks” that fail to explain why these [23] Chapter 1 tasks are more critical than others, or, similarly, “core competencies” that are only maintained through a series of choices—decisions that could have been different—and thus warrant explanation.

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